How to Replace a Two-Handle Bathtub Faucet

How to Replace a Two-Handle Bathtub Faucet: A Step-by-Step Guide

A functioning bathtub faucet is a vital component of any bathroom. Over time, wear and tear can take a toll on your two-handle bathtub faucet, leading to leaks or reduced performance. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of replacing a two-handle bathtub faucet, allowing you to restore functionality and enhance the appearance of your bathroom.

Gathering Tools and Materials

Before embarking on the faucet replacement journey, it’s essential to gather the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Plumber’s tape
  • New two-handle bathtub faucet
  • Replacement cartridges (if applicable)
  • Towels or rags

Ensure you have these items on hand to streamline the replacement process.

Turning Off the Water Supply

Safety is paramount when working with plumbing fixtures. To begin, you must locate and turn off the water supply to your bathtub. This typically involves:

  1. Finding the shutoff valves near the bathtub or in the basement.
  2. Turning the valves clockwise to shut off the water flow.

This step prevents water damage and ensures your safety during the replacement.

Removing the Old Faucet

Removing the old faucet is a meticulous process that involves several steps:

  1. Remove the faucet handles by prying off the decorative caps and unscrewing the handles.
  2. Access the escutcheon and unscrew it to reveal the valve stems.
  3. Disconnect the water supply lines from the valve stems.
  4. Remove any retaining nuts or screws holding the faucet in place.
  5. Gently pull out the old faucet.

Inspect the plumbing connections and pipes for any damage or corrosion during this step.

Choosing a New Faucet

Selecting the right replacement faucet is crucial. Consider factors like:

  • Faucet style and design that complements your bathroom decor.
  • Dimensions and compatibility with your bathtub and existing plumbing.

Measurements matter, so be sure to choose a faucet that fits your bathtub perfectly.

Installing the New Faucet

With your new faucet ready, it’s time to install it:

  1. Insert the new faucet into the mounting holes.
  2. Secure it in place with retaining nuts or screws.
  3. Connect the water supply lines to the valve stems.
  4. Apply plumber’s tape to ensure watertight connections.
  5. Reattach the escutcheon and faucet handles.
  6. Tighten everything securely.

Testing and Checking for Leaks

After installation, it’s essential to test your new faucet for leaks and functionality. Turn on the water supply and:

  • Check for any visible leaks around the faucet connections.
  • Ensure both hot and cold water handles work correctly.
  • Confirm that the water flow is smooth and consistent.

Address any leaks or issues promptly to prevent further complications.

Finishing Touches

Once your new faucet is securely installed and leak-free, it’s time for the finishing touches:

  • Ensure the handles are properly aligned and secure.
  • Clean and polish the faucet to make it shine like new.

Turning On the Water Supply

Now that your new faucet is in place and functioning correctly, it’s time to reopen the water supply:

  1. Slowly turn the shutoff valves counterclockwise to restore water flow.
  2. Check for any leaks during this process.
  3. Ensure that the water flows smoothly from your new faucet.

Maintenance and Care

To keep your newly replaced faucet in excellent condition, consider these maintenance tips:

  • Regularly inspect for leaks and address them promptly.
  • Clean the faucet and handles with a mild bathroom cleaner to prevent mineral buildup.
  • Consider replacing cartridges or seals as needed to maintain optimal performance.


Replacing a two-handle bathtub faucet can rejuvenate your bathroom and ensure reliable water flow. With the steps outlined in this guide, you can tackle this DIY project with confidence and enjoy a functional and attractive bathtub faucet.


Q: How long does it take to replace a two-handle bathtub faucet? A: The time required varies based on experience, but it typically takes a few hours to complete the replacement.

Q: Do I need to hire a professional plumber for this task? A: If you’re comfortable with basic plumbing tasks and have the necessary tools, you can replace the faucet yourself. However, if you’re unsure or encounter complications, it’s advisable to consult a professional plumber.

Q: Can I reuse the old handles and escutcheon with the new faucet? A: It’s recommended to use the handles and escutcheon that come with the new faucet to ensure proper fit and functionality.


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